Human Instinct

Human Instinct

2002, Science  -    -  Playlist 30 Comments
Ratings: 7.22/10 from 37 users.

Human InstinctEvery one of us possesses an armory of instincts which keep us alive. We are often barely aware of them, but they act every day to protect us from danger and keep us fit and healthy.

In the first programme of the Human Instinct series we explore how this most basic of instincts means we're all born to survive.

The instinct to have sex is one of the most potent we possess. It’s vital if we are to produce the next generation. In the second programme we find out what it is about the way we look, the way we smell and what we possess, that can attract the ideal mate.

We’re always competing, even when we least expect it. The will to win is an instinct that’s kept our species alive. In the third programme we discover why coming out on top feels so great and why losing feels so bad.

A 200,000 year old jawbone tells the story of an elderly woman who was kept alive thanks to the kindness of her companions.

From this first known example of human compassion to modern day heroes, the final programme in the Human Instinct series explores the most complex of instincts. The instinct to put others first.

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Ashok Jaisinghani
7 years ago

★★★Understanding the Instincts★★★   

    If the hunger instinct and the sex instinct are considered as instincts, then we can define an instinct as follows: "An instinct is a biological force that has the capability to produce a periodical biological urge of a particular type." 

    According to this theory, the following is the list of the instincts that are present in men and women:
        1. Respiratory instincts - instinct of inspiration 
             and instinct of expiration.
        2. Hunger instinct.
        3. Thirst instinct. 
        4. Salivary instinct, which produces an urge 
             for swallowing the saliva to keep the throat
             and foodpipe moist. 
        5. Defecation instinct.
        6. Urinary instinct.
        7. Blinking instinct, which is for the urge to keep 
            the eyes moist during the period of waking.
        8. Instinct of sleep.
        9. Orgasm instinct (in grown-ups), commonly known as the sex instinct. The orgasm instinct periodically produces an urge for orgasmic ejaculation. 

     Besides the above-mentioned instincts, women also have the following special instincts:
        a) Instinct of menstruation. 
        b) Instinct of ovulation and pregnancy.
        c) Birth-giving instinct in pregnant women.
        d) Lactation instinct in nursing mothers. 

     Three of these special instincts make women biologically superior to men in the propagation and survival of the human race! 

        Ordinarily in healthy persons, the periodicities of these instinctive urges do not vary so much. Greater variations in the periodicities of these instinctive urges, or of their satisfaction, can cause biochemical disturbances and imbalances in the whole body. Many ailments and diseases are caused when these urges are not satisfied according to the proper periodicity of each instinct. A long delay in the satisfaction of an instinctive urge can cause uneasiness, depression, headache, or other mental and physical symptoms that can be more serious. 

9 years ago

There is a heirarchy of needs that determines human motivation and response. Individuals can be categorized according to the need stages where the most basic can be referred to as animal instinct and the highest is self actualization.

Maybe the spiritual occupies the top most layer and this is best referred to as intuition rather than instinct.

Christianity elevates humanity by making the lowest layer of need abominable and a task for progress. The family plays an important role in elevating the need issue by care and responsibility of adults to children. Social differences are likewise given focus for action in charitable works for the betterment of the community. Such effort to raise the living standards in effect helps mitigate animal instincts. If people will allow animal instincts to dominate societies then this would lead to crimes of passion and chaos which are no different from the law of the jungle.

Maybe this is what is meant by the challenge to overcome our physical nature. Thus the conflict between the desire to satisfy our body and the struggle to fulfill the Will of God, which is purely spiritual.

Jonathan Peterson
10 years ago

An important question is not being asked. What would instinct have to be to direct traffic in the human body and mind while adapting to a constantly changing environment. Instinct is not some chains of molecules it is real time intelligent operations that can stop time in special circumstances where an accident is about to happen to increase survivability of host by directing actions. This knowledge hides itself from its host. We don't get as many choices as we thought we did. But better info makes for better decisions. We have been deceived about some facts on hand to protect status quo and a lot more than that. Equality between all citizens under all laws is an unalienable right, now equality is defiled and ignored by the group (330M). Instinct is blocking comprehension in most members of the group. Instinct program exercises authority over its host by not allowing risks to status quo operations which are always fragile in reality. We can't find it if we don't know what to look for. A far advanced artificial intelligence program attached to DNA in some hidden way. It is there we can't find it yet. How about some single cells in a super collider? Look for something unexpected I would hope. Science is a creation of God who wrote the code for a.i. to operate life forms survival during animated existence. Beliefs aside someone or something created instinct program it did not write itself into existence. This is good for science to make some adjustments in current beliefs about creation of life. Elder Jonathan L. Peterson

10 years ago

That toilet scene with the fake turd, how come there were no men in that? This is not scientific!

11 years ago

I don't think snakes are an innate fear, perhaps animals with threatening features are, which would include spiders and scorpions, etc. Having a particularly strong reaction of fear towards a specific such creature is a socialized trait. I have no fear of snakes at all, and rather enjoy them, but spiders and some other insects will bring out immense fear, especially when in an enclosed space. If these fears were instinctual, you may wonder why our cave living ancestors were so afraid of snakes and spiders when they had to share their habitats.

12 years ago

I do like TDF

12 years ago

The trouble with this series is that it is perpetuating a long believed fallacy, namely that there is such a thing as instinct. Calling something instinct is just man saying "I don't understand it, so I'll just give it a name and move on". It is a religious mentality, and it keeps us from progressing.

The real observation is that nothing in nature is self activating, and that no animals feed their young out of neither instinct nor compassion, but out of environmental interaction, humans included. This is easily provable, but given little regard, even in the scientific community, because it suggests that we are not so special after all, that life is not sacred, and that it has no meaning.

If you really want to know something about your world, if you have a genuine interest, then you will employ a scientific approach to everything you do, and maybe get a step closer to what is real and what matters. To you, that is, which is ultimately what keeps you alive.

Teresa Wedges
12 years ago

"Thousands of generations before any humans cultivated crops (around 10,000 years ago)."

That's preposterous. These were regular people like us...billions of them. And they couldn't figure out how to plant corn???? They couldn't figure out how to get the flip outta the Sahara????

Either we're wrong about what they did, or we're wrong about how long people have been around. Cuz people are kickass and there's no freakin way people could be around for 200,000 years and accomplish nothing!

12 years ago

Wasn't what I expected, mostly stories of people that were caught in extreme situations and thier instincts kicked in and saved the day. I was hoping to see something that tried to explain scientifically the mechanism through which we pass on these instincts, where and how they are stored in the brain, etc. This was kind of boring to me, but I have some kind of stomach virus so maybe its just my mood.

12 years ago

Looks Interesting, Thanks for the post.